Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

India managed to survive a scare in Cape Town and leveled the Test series 1-1 against hosts South Africa recently. As per experts, India might have learnt the biggest lesson that their batting order is falling apart in crunch situations.

To arrest this slide, legendary batsman and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has urged the India skipper Rohit Sharma and the team management to organise a few practice games whenever they tour SENA Nations.

India have a busy year in Test cricket ahead in 2024, with the year concluding with them travelling to Australia for a four-Test series featuring the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. As per the Little Master, there should be few practice matches to avoid batting collapses and give bowlers the much-needed time to get used to the conditions.

“The defeat in Centurion is pretty much a pattern for Indian teams touring the SENA countries, where they lose the first Test of the series and then play catch-up for the remainder of the series. The next big series overseas is exactly a year away in Australia, and if India needs to keep the winning momentum of the previous two tours there, then the planning must start now. The FTP suggests that India is playing two Tests against Bangladesh and three Tests against New Zealand at home from the end of September to early November,” Gavaskar wrote in a sports column.

“The first Test of a five-match series in Australia will likely start in early December, so it does give the Indians time to play a couple, if not more, first-class games before the series. Rohit said after the loss in Centurion that these games are no good because the host countries put up second-rate teams, and they get to play on slow pitches. Even if that is true, isn’t it better to get into a rhythm against such opposition than stay at home? Not only the batters can get some runs under their belts, but the bowlers can also go flat out and test themselves,” the former great further wrote.